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Praise for children's services, four years after failure
12:00pm Friday 15th March 2013 in News
OFSTED has praised services for vulnerable children in Warrington four years after it was deemed to be failing.
The latest inspection of children’s services at Warrington Borough Council rates it as ‘good’, with many elements of safeguarding improved.
Kath O’Dwyer, executive director of children and young people’s services at the council, said: “We do so many things differently these days and this report confirms that we provide a good service and are well on the way to becoming an outstanding service in the future.
“I can’t thank my staff and managers enough for all the hard work they have put in to date to bring about meaningful change, their great efforts have enabled the council and wider local safeguarding partnership to totally transform services so they are now consistently performing well.”
In 2009 Ofsted heavily criticised children’s services, with it found to be failing in 11 of 15 key areas.
The latest inspection took place earlier this year after the Government announced it would be making more detailed checks on local authorities.
It was a pilot run of the type of inspection Ofsted will soon carry out throughout the country.
Overall effectiveness of multi-agency work to protect children was commended, along with the effectiveness of the help provided to children, carers and families.
leadership and working practices were also praised.
But areas that need improving remain.
Better support must be provided for victims of domestic violence to get help, while GPs in the area need to be more involved with the service.
Audrey Williamson, chair of the Warrington Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: “Though this was a pilot inspection we are very pleased with the outcome as this new regime is incredibly rigorous.”
Clr Colin Froggatt, executive board member for children’s services, said: “I can’t convey the scale of the transformation Kath, her teams and the partnership have brought about since 2009 and I would like to thank them now for all their hard work.”
Dr Sarah Baker is chief clinical officer at Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, which runs some of the services.
She said: “We’re delighted that Warrington’s effective partnership approach to keeping children safe has been highlighted in the report.
“Working together across our organisations to improve health outcomes is a big priority for the future.”